QUEENSLAND Firebirds have bounced back from last week’s disappointing loss to defeat the New South Wales Swifts by 13 goals in the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN).
The first quarter was fast paced and intense. It was goal for goal for the opening four centre passes, before the Firebirds pinched a goal off the Swifts’ centre. The Swifts pinched one off the very next centre pass to eliminate that advantage, and then they rallied to build a lead for themselves.
The Firebirds brought it back during the power five and brought the scores to level. An unbelievable play from Donnell Wallam with a second left on the clock saw the Firebirds take a one goal lead at the first break.
The intensity and speed of play from the first quarter continued in the second. Queensland also continued its scoring momentum, and quickly raced out to a six-goal lead. The Swifts’ pegged it back slightly, but the Firebird lead was rebuilt just as quickly.
The visitors were their own worst enemy at times, with errant passing costing them in their forward third. The Firebirds maintained their lead during the power five period, and extended it out even further. At half time the margin was out to eight goals.
Queensland continued to dominate in the opening parts of the third term, and even extended its lead out to as much as 10 goals. The Firebirds were making it look easy at times as they were coming down the court, with the Swifts unable to capitalise on their chances.
Meanwhile for the Swifts, they got the go ahead from coach Briony Akle to take the Super Shots, and Helen Housby certainly delivered, nailing two in a row. Unfortunately for the Swifts, as much as Housby was doing her part, she was really carrying her team so all her good work was being undone easily.
As the teams turned for home the margin was 13 goals in favour of the Firebirds, and they were in control with one quarter left to play.
The Swifts had a much better start to the final quarter, and pegged the margin back to as low as eight goals. Unfortunately for the Swifts, all their good work came undone in the back end of the quarter as the Firebirds came back ballooned the margin back out to take the dominant win.
One noticeable point in this game was the number of turnovers from both sides. There were 33 unforced turnovers between the sides, and 52 general play turnovers between them. Another thing that was remarkable about how dominant the Firebirds were was that it was all done in regular goals. Their only Super Shot for the game was their final goal of the game.
For the Firebirds, the partnership between Wallam and Gretel Bueta continued to flourish, and they continue to play as though they’ve been playing for much longer than they actually have. Gabi Simpson also had a stellar game, and although did not rack up a lot of stats, she rotated through several opponents despite not moving out of wing defence, which just shows how much of an influence she was having on the game.
Meanwhile for the visitors, Maddy Proud had another stellar game, backing up from last week’s performance. This week she finished with 44 feeds and 25 goal assists. Housby also had another great game in front of the ring, and really did a lot of the heavy lifting for her team.
Next week sees the Firebirds in Victoria to face the Vixens, while the Swifts’ have a rematch with the GIANTS.
QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS 15 | 20 | 20 | 18 (73)
NSW SWIFTS 14 | 13 | 15 | 18 (60)
GS: Donnell Wallam
GA: Gretel Bueta
WA: Lara Dunkley
C: Kim Ravaillion
WD: Gabi Simpson
GD: Ruby Bakewell-Doran
GK: Eboni Usoro-Brown
GS: Sophie Fawns
GA: Helen Housby
WA: Maddy Proud
C: Paige Hadley
WD: Allie Smith
GD: Maddy Turner
GK: Sarah Klau